Alain Goma says media predictions that Fulham will struggle this season has fired up the squad to prove the pundits wrong.

The French defender feels that Fulham demonstrated their strength of character in coming from behind to win a see-saw opening fixture against Middlesbrough on Saturday. He told the club’s official website:

“I think we showed that we have a very good spirit. We conceded a goal quite early, but we reacted very well, scoring an equaliser very quickly and then went on to play quite well. We showed that there is a lot of solidarity in the squad. We very much played as team on the pitch – and that helps a lot when things aren’t going right. You know that there will be someone fighting to get the ball back for you if you lose it.

“The things that people write about us in the papers are a source of motivation more than anything else. It’s something that we can focus on to make sure we have the determination and attitude to do well – hopefully we can continue to prove people wrong.”

Goma, a harsh taskmasker, is keeping his feet on the ground despite picking up three points against Steve McClaren’s side after some defensive errors made life much more difficult than it could have been.

“Unfortunately we conceded two goals and made a few mistakes at the back and as I made some of those mistakes I’m disappointed with my own performance. But we will do better than that, for sure. I think there were times during the game that we showed that we can play very good football and that was very encouraging for us.

I’m sure that we can improve on that performance – we let in two goals and I think that we should have been able to keep a clean sheet. But we can use that to work on for the future, and concentrate on not making those mistakes again. Overall it was a very good result. It will be very good for our confidence before we go away to Everton, and I think it’s always important to win the first game of the season.”